Sanofi (France) (SAN.PA) Halves Price of Cancer Drug After Rejection From Cancer Center
11/9/2012 8:04:28 AM
In an unusual move, a big drug company said it would effectively cut in half the price of a new cancer drug after a leading cancer center said it would not use the drug because it was too expensive. The move — announced Thursday by Sanofi for the colon cancer drug Zaltrap — could be a sign that the marketplace is becoming resistant to the unfettered increase in the prices of cancer drugs over the past decade. Some of the newest cancer drugs cost more than $100,000 a year and increase survival by a few months at best. Zaltrap came to market in August at a price of about $11,000 a month. Soon afterward, the prestigious Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York decided not to use the drug, saying it was twice as expensive but no more effective than a similar medicine, Avastin from Genentech. Both drugs improved median survival by 1.4 months, they said. Three doctors at Sloan-Kettering publicized the decision last month in an op-ed article in The New York Times.